Bob Wiseman gives a keyboard for kids

November 29, 2012

Bob Wiseman is not a sentimental guy. The original Blue Rodeo keyboardist has donated his old Ace Tone organ for an eBay charity auction to benefit Kids Help Phone.

"It doesn't mean anything to me," he told The Globe and Mail in an interview. "I bought it used in the seventies. It was considered junk at the time."

If the instrument is not prized by Wiseman, the organ's retro-rock tone was a unique element to the group's now iconic sound. "People tuned into it right away," says the jazzy pianist, who left the band after 1992's Lost Together and whose Giulietta Masina at the Oscars Crying album is available at bandcamp.com. "It separated Blue Rodeo from other groups."

The current top bid for the gaudily hand-painted instrument is $234.50. If Rodeoists Greg Keelor or Jim Cuddy are among those vying for the Can-Rock heirloom, it would come as no surprise to Wiseman: "They're the kind of guys who believe the equipment is really important. I'm not."

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